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Sterling Blog: Playing the field
The 12U Lower Loudoun Girls Softball League Baseliners brought home their first tournament championship this past weekend. Courtesy Photo

If you go over to Sully Elementary or Claude Moore Park in the evening, you’ll see a number of young women being awesome. They’ll be hitting balls far into the outfield, pitching strikes and catching that fly no one thought could be caught. In short, they’ll be being softball players.

Now you might think softball – that’s a spring sport, right? Not actually. Around here, softball is a year-around thing. This season, there’s a new band of sheriffs in town – the 12U Lower Loudoun Girls Softball League Baseliners. Joining their elders (we have two 18U Baseliners), this band of young women formed this summer after three days of tryouts and more than a few broken hearts. Despite only being together two months, this past weekend, the players brought home their first tournament championship.

Travel softball (like all travel sports) functions a wee bit differently than recreation league play. Rather than one or two practices a week, you have two or three. Rather than games, you have weekend tournaments. On Oct. 15 and 16, the Baseliners (all three teams) played in the Breast Cancer Awareness National Invitational Tournament. One-hundred and twenty-six teams, unless my count is off, competed at fields in Sterling and Ashburn. Our teams did amazing. Our newest Baseliners won the 12U C Silver bracket, while one of our 18U teams (coached by Tim Lieb) won the 18U B Silver bracket by beating out the other 18U Baseliner team (coached by Peter Grittini).

Congratulations to our local athletes who played a minimum of five games over the weekend to come home as champions. And thank you to our local businesses, including Glory Days (where the victorious 12U team celebrated), who step up to support these athletes. Want to get your daughter involved in softball? You can learn more about LLGSL by going to their website at llgsl.com. Or ask me about it at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

While you’re counting balls and strikes, do not forget that this weekend is Sterling Playmakers opening of “Great Stage of Fools,” written by our own local playwright-actor-director, Keaton Crowe. You have four chances to see this original show about a group of Shakespearean characters trying to figure out who is killing them off -- before their show ends … forever. The show will open at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at the theatre at Sterling Middle School. Can’t make Friday? Come Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. You can also catch the last show on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at sterlingplaymakers.com or at the door.

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Cascades and CountrySide Blog: ‘Trick or Treat’ premieres this weekend
The “Trick or Treat” cast from left to right: Alexandria Backer, Clayton Olson, Jennifer (Addie) Schafer, Sonia Bronder, Jeffrey Cates and Jennifer Reitz. Photo Courtesy/Portraits by Bronder
“Trick or Treat,” a new interactive murder mystery written by CountrySide resident Terry Smith and produced by the StageCoach Theatre Co., makes its debut Oct. 16 at the Leesburg Brewing Co. The show, featuring special magic tricks, focuses on a return to the stage by three great magicians. Performances also are scheduled for the Bungalow Lakehouse in Sterling on Oct. 23, the Salamander Resort in Middleburg at noon Oct. 30 and Savoir Fare in Round Hill on Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The show continues in November, with performances Nov. 5 at Bright Box in Winchester and Nov. 6 at the Waterford Foundation Old School. Reservations are required. Information is available online at http://www.stagecoachtc.com.

The Gathering

The Military Officers Association of America presents two lecture sessions open to the public this month at Falcons Landing. On Oct. 13, Wolfgang W.E. Samuel, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, will talk about his life as a young boy in Germany, his immigration to America at age 16, his highly-decorated military career in the U.S. Air Force and his autobiography, titled “German Boy.” On Oct. 20, the organization presents a discussion session titled “Meeting the Challenges of Defense Acquisition for Cutting-Edge Systems for Our Nation’s Security.” Both sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Falcons Landing ballroom. Refreshments and fellowship follow the meetings.

Shred it

CountrySide, Cascades and Great Falls Chase have joined together to hold a free paper-shredding event and electronics recycling opportunity from 9 a.m. until noon on Oct. 15 in the Parkway Pool parking lot at 46020 Algonkian Blvd. Participants may bring up to five boxes (up to 10-by-12-by-15 inches in size) of paper for shredding and five electronics items per vehicle or household. Binder clips must be removed from paper and boxes cannot be left at the recycling site.

Fall festival rescheduled

The Cascades Fall Festival takes place Oct. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. in the parking lot at Potomac Falls High School. The festivities include hayrides, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, food, games, craft and merchandise vendors and musicians – including students from the Ashburn School of Rock. A $1 activity fee will be charged for carnival games, moon bounces, mechanical bull riding, face painting and balloon artistry. The event was originally scheduled to take place on Oct. 8 but was moved due to the rainy weather expected on that day.

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Sterling Blog: Sterling’s got talent
So often we hear of “kids that made good” – a small town kid with big city dreams who goes on to greatness. This is one of those stories.

Once upon a time, there was a dreamy kid named Keaton Crowe. He loved the theatre and had a pretty amazing voice. He grew up in a small town called Sterling, perhaps you’ve heard of it. As he grew up and went to Park View High School, he knew his home was on the stage. Lucky for him, there’s this really wonderful group in his home town called the Sterling Playmakers – perhaps you’ve heard of them. He got involved. He auditioned. He captured the lead in a summer musical. He was an assistant director for a summer camp. But eventually, Keaton wanted more.

So last year, when the director applications went out for the Sterling Playmakers, Keaton applied to direct. But not just any show, he wanted to direct something no one had ever seen before. Keaton, our young hero from Sterling, wrote his own show. And in two weeks, he’ll be directing it too.

Keaton’s work “Great Stage of Fools” is a murder mystery, unlike any you’ve seen before. There’s no Sherlock Holmes, just the characters of Shakespeare trying to figure out who is killing them off … one by one. Puck, Juliet and Lady Macbeth (and others) have to work together, and against the clock, to solve this mystery before their curtain comes down … permanently.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at the theatre at Sterling Middle School with shows at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. You have a total of four chances to see this original production by one of our own talents. Just think, you can say “Hey, I saw a Keaton Crowe play way back in 2016,” but only if you don’t miss it by not marking your calendars, setting your alarms and (most importantly) buying your tickets now at http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com .

Tickets are $12 and can be bought online now or at the door. So, come celebrate a local talent while enjoying some good theatre fun at our favorite local middle school. You can learn more at http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com or at their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/sterlingplaymakers.

While we’re discussing our local events – thank you to everyone who braved the weather to be part of SterlingFest. We had an amazing turn out from businesses, organizations, bands, vendors, restaurants, politicians and Sterlingites! Rain can’t shut us down because we are hardy folk around here. Thank you especially to the Sterling Foundation, the SterlingFest organizers and the Sterling Community Center for putting on such a great show of everything Sterling has to offer – and we’ll see all of you (and maybe a few more) next year.

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